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“The Dark Side”

Ham Plan WOD

358 16
  • For Time
  • 12-9-6-3-1 reps of:
  • Front Squats (205/145 lb)
  • Bar Muscle-Ups

With a running clock, complete the prescribed work in the order written as fast as possible (“For Time“). Athlete must complete 12 Front Squats and 12 Bar Muscle-Ups before moving on to 9 reps of each movement, and so on.

Score is the time on the clock when the last Bar Muscle-Up is completed.

Tips and Strategy

“The Dark Side” is a simple, but indeed not easy, couplet. Workouts like this present a handful of challenges for coaches and athletes, especially when scaling them appropriately.

It is tempting to overscale or under-scale athletes in workouts that combine moderate to heavy loadings with a higher-skill gymnastic movement. The shorter time domain makes appropriately scaling this workout even more difficult.

Consider a few of the following steps to take the most away from this workout:

Have a plan to split up each movement to avoid failed reps, excessive fatigue, or prolonged rest between movements. We often start “too hot,” leading to very long rest periods that bulldoze the time goal. Consistently sized sets coupled with consistent rest periods are great ways to build strength, even when performed within a workout–know your pace!

If you need to scale the bar muscle-up reps, consider setting a 1:00 cap on each set. Time-bound sets enable you to have plenty of movement practice without losing the workout’s time stimulus.

Descending rep schemes are very effective for managing higher skill movements and heavier weights. If you can’t do 12 or 9 reps of the Bar Muscle-Up or Front Squat in a row, consider a descending rep scheme. Split the set of 12 into three sets of 6-4-3.

Believe it or not, extra warm-up time helps with heavier loading. Spend time practicing multiple sets of 6 unbroken front squat reps as you warm up to your workout weight. Exposure to extra volume in the warm-up will help improve your strength without taking away too much from your workout performance.


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Background: We first found “The Dark Side” by Ham Plan @hamplan posted on their Instagram on May 24, 2021.

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